There’s a bit of a stereotype associated with mariners when it comes to drinking. Maybe it stems from old pirate stories or naval traditions of issuing sailors a daily ration of rum, but for whatever reason, people always seem to think that those at sea are having more than just a nightcap before bed. Recently, one Russian sailor did something that definitely reinforced this old stereotype — which also happened to result in the near destruction of a huge ship.
While acting as the officer of the watch, a Russian sailor aboard a 423-foot long cargo ship en route to Norway from Belfast, Northern Ireland, earlier this year got into a little mishap. While off the coast of Scotland, the vessel ran aground at full speed. Due to some poor weather, recovery operations could not begin for two days. In the end, the hull was banged up, the fuel tanks leaked 25 tons of fuel into the water, and the ship had to be scrapped altogether.
Why did this happen? Well, the sailor drank a half liter of rum before taking over his shift as the only person on watch that night.
From the Independent:
The chief officer on watch, a 36-year-old Russian, had consumed half a litre of rum in his cabin before taking up his shift as the sole officer on watch at midnight, but had “become inattentive due to the effects of alcohol consumption”.
His actions led the ship to run aground at full speed into the rocky foreshore, where it remained for two days during bad weather.
Despite the ship’s anti-collision radar alarm going off, the ship still ran aground. This is because the drunk sailor reset the alarm while still seated, thus preventing the rest of the crew from knowing there was eminent danger. The dude was trying to get a buzz on. The last thing he wanted was some loud ass siren going off. Shit’s probably annoying as hell.
Interestingly, the company operating the ship has a zero tolerance policy for alcohol consumption. Despite this, the ship was stocked with beer, wine, and liquor because, I assume, sitting on a giant cargo ship for days on end is boring as fuck. After the accident, investigators found numerous empties throughout the ship, indicating that this is probably not the first time someone decided to have a couple drinks on board.
What do you do with a drunken sailor? Well, according to the company that employed the drunk sailor in question, you fire him. Don’t drink and drive, guys. And if you ever find yourself at the helm of a massive cargo ship, don’t drink and drive that, either..
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